Edwards and Iraq

Bob Moser has an excellent profile of John Edwards up at The Nation website, looking at what he's been up to since the 2004 elections and how he's laying the groundwork for a 2008 presidential run.

The story's getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere (see DKos and Eschaton), mostly because it relates how Edwards, after a recent speaking gig, admitted that his support for the Iraq war resolution in 2002 was "a mistake."

It's good that's getting some attention. The Nation piece quotes yours truly as saying that Edwards lost his chance to rally progressive support in September 2002, when -- in a strongly-worded Op Ed in the Washington Post, right before the war vote -- he dashed to the front of the political pack to support an Iraq invasion.

For progressives looking for a 2004 Democratic presidential hopeful they could get behind, that move proved fatal -- and opened the door for a Vermont governor named Howard Dean to become for many the candidate of choice.

On domestic issues, I think Edwards still had the clearest message of the Dem candidates -- "the two Americas" -- and some good positions on issues like reining in the Patriot Act, stopping predatory banking practices, and support for worker's rights (from a Southerner, no less). But the Iraq vote deflated Edwards' support among progressives, making the Democratic primary Kerry v. Dean. You know the rest of the story.

Does this mean Edwards' admission about Iraq opens the door for progressives to get excited about him in 2008? What do you think?